by E&E Legal Senior Policy Fellow Greg Walcher
As appearing in the Daily Sentinel
George Bernard Shaw once quipped, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” That could apply to the famous 2009 meeting between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Pope Benedict XVI, after which she reported that they discussed “poverty, hunger, and global warming.” The Pope, however, reported that he had politely but firmly admonished that her “pro-abortion politics” put her “in serious difficulties as a Catholic.” Several reporters openly wondered if the two had even been in the same meeting.
Similar skepticism might apply to the many divergent views of the newly adopted “Drought Contingency Plan” (DCP) for the Colorado River. It resulted from several years of meetings between the seven states in the river basin, various federal agencies, utilities, and numerous environmental organizations. Yet they all have dramatically different views of the carefully crafted deal.
Last month, Congress passed legislation ratifying the DCP agreement and President Trump signed it. All of the states, including Colorado, feel good about the settlement, which protects their water entitlements while preserving important flows. Yet if you wonder how different people can look at the same facts and reach entirely different conclusions, this is a doozy of an example.